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Ram 1500 TRX: Fiat Chrysler presents Hellcat pickup with 702 hp

Ram 1500 TRX

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler just unveiled a new pickup truck – the Ram 1500 TRX, a performance truck with a V8 Hellcat engine and more than 700 horsepower.

The pickup is expected to go on sale as a new Halo vehicle for the brand later this year – starting at $ 71,690 – to further differentiate Ram from Chevrolet and Ford, the industry's leading trucks by sales.

"The all new Ram 1500 TRX is by far the fastest, fastest and most powerful truck in the world," said Mike Koval, head of Ram at Fiat Chrysler North America.

Performance aside, the pickup has a more aggressive exterior design than its regular stablemates, including a large working hood scoop with LED lights built into the hood of the vehicle. In the interior, the vehicle is equipped as standard with a vertical 12-inch touchscreen and a 7-inch driver information cluster.

A limited "Launch Edition" starts at around $ 92,000. All prices include a target fee of $ 1,695.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Fiat Chrysler

performance

The company's 6.2 liter supercharged Hemi V8, better known as Hellcat engine for Fiat Chrysler's Dodge brand, produces 702 horsepower and 650 foot pounds of torque. Its top speed is 118 mph (limited by its off-road tires) and can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It has an eight-speed automatic transmission.

"We designed this truck bolt by bolt so that it clearly outperforms any other truck," said Koval.

The company believes the pickup will bring new buyers to the brand, which will add to the company's highly profitable cash-and-carry sales, Koval said. He declined to discuss sales expectations for the vehicle.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Fiat Chrysler

While pickup truck sales were more resilient than other vehicle segments during the coronavirus pandemic, sales of the Ram 1500 fell 17.8% in the first half as many dealerships closed due to the health crisis and consumers stayed in their homes.

The Ram 1500 TRX will be the fourth vehicle to feature the automaker's Hellcat engine. The first were the Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars, followed by a performance variant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee called the Trackhawk. The company also announced a Dodge Durango powered SUV last month, which is expected to go into production early next year.

Raptor take over

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is aimed directly at the Ford Raptor, a highly regarded performance version of the F-150 pickup. The Ford truck has a 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo engine with an output of 450 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque. A four-door model comparable to the TRX costs about $ 58,000.

Koval repeatedly called the Ram 1500 TRX the "Apex Predator" of the truck market and shot at Ford's Raptor.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Fiat Chrysler

"To put that in Jura slang, the T. rex destroys raptors, and it's exactly what you'd expect from a company committed to being America's premier off-road truck," he said.

Ryan Nagode, Ram's chief interior designer, said "The truck's mission is to create a Halo product for the brand. Something that would truly be the front runner in our range of equipment."

He described the interior as combining the robustness of an off-road pickup with the performance styling of a muscle car.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

Mack Hogan | CNBC

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